Shoulds

i should
brand myself
a failure
self-flagellate
for failing to meet
expectations
of those
who wear
white coats
shiny stethoscopes
draped casually
around necks
I should let
their stern eyes
their nonverbal—
but surprisingly loud—
condemnation of
my parenting
echo through my mind
but right now
I am just
too fatigued
just too
damn tired
to bathe
in their judgement
wallow in expected
self-hatred
too worn
from chronic illness
chronic pain
that tightly fitted
jumpsuit of
hair and barbed
wire
even
for that

© 2021 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

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